JOSE Mourinho says Newcastle United were lucky to inflict a first defeat of the season on his Chelsea side – and suggested the Magpies deployed deliberate delaying tactics in the second half.
Papiss Demba Cisse’s brace earned Newcastle the three points at St James’s Park, despite Steven Taylor’s red card and a late Didier Drogba goal.
Afterwards, beaten Mourinho complained about the length of time it took for the ball to return to the pitch at times in the second half, with the ball boys taking much of his ire.
Newcastle’s 2-1 win was described as fortunate by the Chelsea boss, who felt Cisse’s goals were “strange”.
He said: “The best team lost, the team that tried to win lost, but that’s football.
“It was an unlucky day for us and a lucky day for them, and that’s football.
“I don’t criticise them (for their approach). They do what they want.
“You need luck to play that way and win, but they have and I have no problems with that.
“Even the counter-attacks were attacks with rebounds – it was not a clean counter-attack where a fantastic action hands you the goal.
“Even the goals were goals that were strange, rebounds, slides.”
When asked whether Newcastle had a deliberate delaying strategy towards the end, Mourinho said: “Do you believe in Father Christmas?
“This is just a detail that is not in our control. I can’t control that, the referee can’t control that, we can’t control it.
“To play football you need one ball. Sometimes (we had) no ball, sometimes two balls.
“It was difficult to play very well and consecutively, but it is something that is out of control.
“We were unlucky, we didn’t score the goals that we could, we conceded goals in the only times that the opponent crossed the midfield line, and that’s football. I accept that.”
Referee Martin Atkinson added six minutes of stoppage time in the second half, but even that did not satisfy Mourinho, who has still never won a league game at St James’s Park.
He added: “In the six minutes, it happened the same. We cannot be here for the whole day.
“The referee cannot give 15 minutes or give six and after six give another six.
“The referee did well, the referee had a good game, my players tried everything.
“When they lost the mental balance to play good football with their goals, we changed strategy, we played direct, we were good at that, we created problems playing direct and we almost got a point, which would be the minimum we deserved.
“We tried everything, but no complaints. Congratulations to Newcastle, and that’s it.”